When purchasing a smartphoneIt can be difficult to know exactly what to bring home. Some stores and manufacturers even carry refurbished devices, like the Amazon Renewed program.
In some cases some parts of the mobiles (like the battery) have been replaced, while in others the delivered mobiles have been classified into one category or another according to their conditions and status.
That is why you must be very careful, as this can affect, among other things, the guarantee that is offered to you. With that in mind, we walk you through how to use your sleuthing skills to find out what to take with you before you hit the buy button.
How to check if an iPhone is new or refurbished
IPhones are a very popular product in the second-hand market, in part because they are often very expensive when new. At Macworld.es, we are told why Apple has such high prices.
If you plan to buy it from an outside store, you should assume that it has been used and look for any type of “as new” or “reconditioned” part number, which will indicate that the seller has kept it in good condition, or that he opened it but did not use it.
Unless they can offer you a receipt from the Apple Store or other authorized reseller, you should also assume that there is no warranty of any kind.
When buying an iPhone from Apple, the models that have been refurbished are clearly marked (and that’s why they’re slightly cheaper). Plus, you’ll only find them in their refurbished store.
On Amazon, you will need to search for their Amazon Renewed program for refurbished devices. With it, you can save some money if you don’t mind taking a cell phone that is in good condition but has been used by others in the past.
Another option if you want to save money is to search Amazon Warehouse, as they often have new phones that have damage or similar defects in the box that do not affect the mobile itself at all, but which cannot be sold at the original price.
These are generally products returned by other customers. You might not want to buy them for a gift, but if you have the idea of keeping it yourself, this is a great way to lower the original price of a new mobile.
If you’ve ever purchased an iPhone, you can find out if it was sold as a refurbished product (by Apple) by checking its model number. Open your iPhone’s “Settings”, select “General”, followed by “Information” and you will see which model you have.
It will be a combination of letters and numbers, indicating the state and type of device you have. The first letter is the most important because it indicates whether a device is new, refurbished, or replaces another original product that has been returned.
Below you can check what your first letter means:
- M: New
- F: Reconditioned
- NOT: Replaced (exchanged for a defective iPhone)
- P: Personalized (has a personalized engraving on the back)
How to check if an Android mobile is new or refurbished
The process is the same for Android phones whether you search on Amazon, eBay or any other store online
If you have already purchased the mobile and are wondering if it is new or not, there is no easy way to know for sure. Before, you could enter a code in the dialer of your mobile, but it seems that this option is no longer available.
This leaves you with a few options at your fingertips. If the box is packed in a sealed package and the cell phone and accessories have plastic protectors, you can be sure that no one has used it before you.
There are some very useful apps in the Google Play Store that offer a breakdown of the current state of the mobile and its capabilities, but among those we tested, none of them were able to determine whether a mobile had been reconditioned or not.
Should you buy a refurbished mobile?
If the device has been professionally reconditioned, there is nothing wrong with purchasing one as long as you are clear when purchasing that you are not taking a cell phone out of the oven.
In fact, if the mobile is an older model in which the battery has deteriorated over time, then a refurbished model may even be better than a used model which still has all of the original parts.
The only concern here is whether the repair was performed by professional technicians or by amateurs. It should be borne in mind that, if the mobile is technically waterproof, this may have changed during its refurbishment, so we recommend that you use protection.
While you may not be able to take a newly manufactured device with you, you can be sure that it has passed a series of meticulous tests and is guaranteed by stores like BackMarket, MediaMarkt, Fnac, PCComponentes or Phone House.
In this context, refurbished models are used products that have been distributed in categories such as “very good condition” or “like new”, but unlike eBay, you know you are going to buy a product with a warranty at case something is wrong.